The Anthropocene Unconscious: Climate Catastrophe Culture | Left Wing Books

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The Anthropocene Unconscious: Climate Catastrophe Culture

Author: 
Format: 
Size: 
176 pages
ISBN: 
9781839760471
Publisher: 
Year: 
2021
Price:
$25.95 (CAD)

From Ducks, Newburyport to zombie movies and the Fast and Furious franchise, how climate anxiety permeates our culture

The art and literature of our time is pregnant with catastrophe, with weather and water, wildness and weirdness. The Anthropocene - the term given to this geological epoch in which humans, anthropos, are wreaking havoc on the earth - is to be found bubbling away everywhere in contemporary cultural production. Typically, discussions of how culture registers, figures and mediates climate change focus on 'climate fiction' or 'cli-fi', but The Anthropocene Unconscious is more interested in how the Anthropocene and especially anthropogenic climate destabilisation manifests in texts that are not overtly about climate change - that is, unconsciously. The Anthropocene, Mark Bould argues, constitutes the unconscious of 'the art and literature of our time'.

Tracing the outlines of the Anthropocene unconscious in a range of film, television and literature - across a range of genres and with utter disregard for high-low culture distinctions - this playful and riveting book draws out some of the things that are repressed and obscured by the term 'the Anthropocene', including capital, class, imperialism, inequality, alienation, violence, commodification, patriarchy and racial formations. The Anthropocene Unconscious is about a kind of rewriting. It asks: what happens when we stop assuming that the text is not about the anthropogenic biosphere crises engulfing us? What if all the stories we tell are stories about the Anthropocene? About climate change?

 

What People Are Saying

“A scintillating work of boisterous melancholy.” China Miéville, author of October

“Mark Bould’s provocation kicks off a thrill-ride roller coaster of ideas, speeding us from one savvy insight to another about culture in the era of climate change. An essential read for anyone wanting to better understand what we know and don’t know about what comes next.” Imre Szeman, author of On Petrocultures

“If The Anthropocene Unconscious weren’t so fun to read, it might be too terrifying to think about. This is a book people will be quoting for the next twenty years.” Gerry Canavan, co-editor of Green Planets

“Bould’s work is as impactful in the twenty-first century as Jacques Derrida’s landmark thesis of nuclear culture was three decades ago.” Anindita Banerjee, author of We Modern People

“Brilliant. A sharp, original, irreverent, and deadly serious exploration of climate’s pervasive presence in all modern culture. Bould’s critical elicitation of climate change across a wide range of genres, places and texts offers a novel methodology for reading, categorizing, and interpreting Anthropocene culture and the banal monstrosities of its attendant carbon capitalism. The result is a highly prescient critique of its root causes and a better means to fully realize the past, present and future effects of its unfolding catastrophes.” Graeme Macdonald, University of Warwick